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97th Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter

Issue of April 19, 2023

1. European Council: Draft Conclusion on Reform of Scholarly Publishing

After France had strengthened the topic of open science in the context of the EU Council Presidency in 2022, open science has now also been set as a topic for the first half of 2023 during the Swedish EU Council Presidency. The first draft of a conclusion on the reform of scientific publishing resulting from initial consultations in February 2023 has since been leaked and is now publicly available. This draft takes up the numerous previous resolutions and calls for open access without fees for authors to become the standard mode of publishing. The draft thereby addresses the challenge that the transformation of scholarly publishing is shifting the flows of funding. Among many other aspects, the 23 key statements in the draft emphasize the importance of peer review, as the basis of validity and quality, and also call for the application of FAIR principles. It remains to be seen which revised final version will be adopted and published, probably in June 2023.

2. open-access.network Publishes Surveys on the Status of Open Access

Within the framework of the BMBF-funded open-access.network project, several qualitative surveys were conducted on the perception and status of the implementation of open access. The results of these surveys, involving interviews with open access experts and researchers and the evaluation of online surveys, have now been published in six individual reports in open access that are available here (in German).

The topics of the surveys included possible obstacles to the implementation of open access in some scientific disciplines with a relatively low proportion of open access to date, such as mechanical engineering, chemistry or law, as well as requirements for open open access infrastructures and the evaluation of open access offerings and funding measures. The Helmholtz Open Science Office is involved in open-access.network as a project partner.

3. Federal Constitutional Court Announces Decision on Obligation to use Secondary Publication Rights

The Federal Constitutional Court has announced a decision for this year on the “Normenkontrollantrag des Verwaltungsgerichtshofs Baden-Württemberg, ob § 44 Abs. 6 des Landeshochschulgesetzes gegen Art. 71, Art. 73 Abs. 1 Nr. 9 GG verstößt“. The decision is intended to clarify whether Baden-Württemberg, as a legislature, has the right to oblige members of the state's higher education institutions to also exercise any secondary publication rights that may exist based on Section 38(4). Explanations of this announced decision can be found here. In the recently published article "Secondary publication right and Causa Konstanz: Federal Constitutional Court before decision", iRights.info also provides an overview of the current situation and history.

4. Crossref Participation Reports: Potential for Improvement in Publication Metadata

One of the main goals of the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) registration service Crossref is to ensure the automated linking of citing and cited publications from a wide range of scientific publishers. The provision of extensive metadata plays a major role here, which can also significantly improve the findability and visibility of scientific publications as well as researchers - even beyond Crossref itself.
With the Participation Reports, CrossRef offers its members (mostly publishers) the opportunity to determine the scope and quality of the metadata they provide. This can be checked at different levels, e.g., at publisher or journal level. The service is intended to show CrossRef-members potential for improvement in the preparation of the metadata they provide. In addition to the presence of references and abstracts, among others, the integration of ORCID or license URLs in the metadata of registered publications is checked.

5. Start of the NFDI Consortia of the Third Call

Since March 2023, eight additional consortia are being funded as part of the third and final application round of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). This inclusion was decided by the Joint Science Conference (GWK) in November 2022 following the recommendation of the German Research Foundation (DFG); thereby expanding the NFDI to comprise 27 consortia. With the help of the NFDI, valuable research data resources are to be systematically made accessible to the German science system.

Seven of the eight selected consortia will be realized with Helmholtz participation:

  • Base4NFDI - Basic Services for NFDI

  • FAIRagro - FAIR Data Infrastructure for Agrosystems

  • NFDI4BIOIMAGE - National research data infrastructure for microscopy and bioimage analysis

  • NFDI4Energy - National Research Data Infrastructure for Interdisciplinary Energy System Research

  • NFDI4Immuno - National Research Data Infrastructure for Immunology

  • NFDI4Memory - The Consortium for the Historically Oriented Humanities (without Helmholtz participation)

  • NFDI4Objects - Research Data Infrastructure for the Material Remains of Human History

  • NFDIxCS - National Research Data Infrastructure for and with Computer Science

6. Federated Data Infrastructures for Science – RfII Report on NFDI, EOSC, and Gaia-X

The exponential growth of digital data in all areas of life and work has resulted in a high demand for suitable data and information infrastructures for actors from academia, industry, and civil society at different levels – institutional, regional, national, transnational, European, and international. In its current report “Federated Data Infrastructures for Scientific Use“ (in German), the Council for Information Infrastructures (RfII) provides an overview of three key initiatives, the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and the transnational Gaia-X Association for Data and Cloud, by contrasting their respective histories, structures and fundamental goals in a comparative analysis and identifying open questions for further development.

The working report addresses scientific users as well as operators of data infrastructures, funding organizations, universities, and non-university research institutions. It will serve as a basis for discussion at the upcoming Herrenhäuser Conference “Shaping Data Spaces in Germany and Europe - Impulses from Science“ on April 24-25, 2023 in Hannover.

7. DMP4CS – Data Management Plans for Citizen Science

Citizen Science is a steadily growing area in open science and enables the public to participate in scientific research projects. To ensure high quality research data, the collaborative project DMP4CS (Developing an on-demand, digital tool for creating data management plans in crowdsourcing projects) started in September 2022 together with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (MfN). The goal is to develop a user-friendly tool for creating data management plans (DMP) adapted to the specific requirements of citizen science projects. The focus is on the realization of an effective and transparent data management that defines and documents the creation, processing, securing and publication of research data.

8. Report: Software Citation Workshop 2022

The Wolbach Library has hosted a series of workshops on the topic of software citation in the summer of 2022; the results of which have now been published in a paper. The workshops included a diverse group of computer scientists, software engineers, and library professionals. The Forschungszentrum Jülich has also contributed to the preparation of the results. The workshops focused on understanding software citation from different perspectives and identifying barriers to implementing metadata standards. Future efforts towards better software citation standards will be made by the FORCE11 Software Citation Implementation Working Group.

9. FIZ Karlsruhe and KIT Study the Digital Transformation of Science

In March 2023, the Senate of the Leibniz Association approved funding for a joint ScienceCampus “Digital Transformation in Research“ (DiTraRe) of FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) for an initial period of 4 years. The campus is organized into four research clusters that investigate the topic of the digital transformation of research in concrete scientific applications. In this way, the impact of the increasing digitalization of scientific work is to be studied in an interdisciplinary manner and concrete solutions are to be developed.

Research methods, their results, and communication are increasingly shaped by digitization processes. The implementation of open science is based on this cultural and technological shift. Transparent and reproducible knowledge processes in science are crucial for strengthening trust in research at the level of society as a whole.

10. Retrospective: 2nd Helmholtz-Workshop on Reproducibility

The 2nd Helmholtz-wide workshop on reproducibility “Love your data? Make it reproducible! - A workshop on reproducibility in data science”, organized by HiDA, the Helmholtz Information & Data Science Academy and the Helmholtz Open Science Office, took place on February 14, 2023. The 120 participants demonstrated a great interest in the topic, in particular concerning the aspects of using and citing software as well best practices in data science.

The two keynotes preceding the practical sessions have been recorded and are available:

  • “Reproducibility and Open Science” by Bernadette Fritzsch: Video and slides

  • “Reproducibility in the context of AI in health care” by Tingying Peng and Sophia Wagner: Video and slides

The three workshop sessions have been documented:

11. Retrospective: RDA 20th Plenary and RDA Germany Conference 2023

The Research Data Alliance celebrated its 10th Anniversary Plenary Meeting on March 21 to 23, 2023 in Sweden, Gothenburg, thereby returning to where RDA had been launched in March 2013. During the three-day hybridconference, which brought together researchers, data scientists, policymakers, and data stewards from disciplines from all over the world, the sharing of new ideas, as well as exploration of best practices in using, curating, and creating access to research data was once again in focus. All recordings will be openly accessible via the RDA website starting May 1, 2023. Prior to the conference, DataCite organized a networking meeting on the topic of “National PID and Research Data Strategies,“ during which our colleague Antonia Schrader reported on the state of the PID landscape in Germany. Read more here.

One month earlier, the RDA Germany Conference took place from February 13 to 17, 2023, which is organized annually by the RDA Deutschland e.V. in cooperation with the Helmholtz Open Science Office and the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. The Helmholtz Open Science Office was responsible for the two sessions Enabling reproducibility in (data) science (in English) and Persistent Identifier für FAIRe Forschungsdaten (in German). All sessions are documented on the event page.

12. On Our Own Behalf: New Team Members for the Helmholtz Open Science Office

The Helmholtz Open Science Office has received additional team members and warmly welcomes the new colleagues Steffi Genderjahn, Marcel Meistring, and Lena Messerschmidt!

From now on, they will support the Helmholtz Open Science Office in the further development and operational support of the topic of Open Science within Helmholtz and in our networks beyond. They will also contribute to the recently launched DFG projects PID Network Germany and Transform2Open.

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Recommended Reading

Eckmann, P., & Bandrowski, A. (2023). PreprintMatch: a tool for preprint to publication detection shows global inequities in scientific publication. PLOS ONE, 18(3), e0281659. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0281659

Franzen, D. L., Carlisle, B. G., Salholz-Hillel, M., Riedel, N., & Strech, D. (2023). Institutional dashboards on clinical trial transparency for University Medical Centers: a case study. PLOS Medicine, 20(3), e1004175. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1004175

Grimm, T., & Holzer, A. (2023). Wissenschaftliches Publizieren und Wissenschaftsbewertung: Die aktuelle Position der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft. RuZ - Recht und Zugang, 3(2), 96–105.  https://doi.org/10.5771/2699-1284-2022-2-96

Herb, U., Castro, P. de, Rothfritz, L., & Schöpfel, J. (2023). Building the plane as we fly it: the promise of Persistent Identifiers. Knowledge Exchange. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7258286

Klump, J., Fils, D., Devaraju, A., Ramdeen, S., Robertson, J., Wyborn, L. and Lehnert, K., (2023). Scaling identifiers and their metadata to gigascale: an architecture to tackle the challenges of volume and variety. Data Science Journal, 22(1), p.5. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2023-005

Laakso, M., & Multas, A.-M. (2023). European scholarly journals from small- and mid-size publishers: mapping journals and public funding mechanisms. Science and Public Policy, scac081. https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scac081

Macgregor, G., Lancho-Barrantes, B. S., & Pennington, D. R. (2023). Measuring the concept of PID literacy: User perceptions and understanding of PIDs in support of open scholarly infrastructure. Open Information Science, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2022-0142

Mathiak, B., Juty, N., Bardi, A., Colomb, J., & Kraker, P. (2023). What are researchers’ needs in data discovery? Analysis and ranking of a large-scale collection of crowdsourced use cases. Data Science Journal, 22(1), 3. https://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2023-003

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